143 innovative products selected for WHAT’S HOT! WHAT’S COOL!®

There will be plenty of inspiration to be found among the 500+ booths at The NAFEM Show, Feb. 9-11 in Orlando, Fla. And there’s another way to see some of the show’s most innovative concepts all in one area, by visiting the WHAT’S HOT! WHAT’S COOL!® product gallery, a not-to-be-missed hub of activity centrally located on the exhibit floor. Here’s a taste of what’s on display in the gallery:

Better tech
In a world of smartphones, smart houses and countless other tech conveniences, it’s no surprise that commercial kitchen equipment and supplies follows suit. Most of the advances solve for ongoing industry pain points – ensuring better food safety and saving time and money, for instance. You’ll see a fair share of these types of products in the gallery, including:

  • Internet-enabled remote equipment monitoring solutions – from coffee makers to ovens
  • Various types of programmable equipment for more more automated cooking processes
  • Equipment features and add-ons that conserve energy or water by monitoring usage and shutting down or going idle during inactive periods
  • Solutions that collect, store and transmit food safety information, streamlining the process of specific HACCP requirements

Labor lifesavers
Labor costs and availability continue to be a top concern for operators in all segments. Fortunately, as equipment technology advances, the strain on employees lessens. Trends in this vein that you’ll see include:

  • Equipment and supplies that greatly reduce time spent on cleaning and maintenance
  • Products that enable operators to slash food prep and cooking times
  • Technologies that automate normally time-consuming foodservice trends – making craft cocktails or from-scratch noodles, for example
  • Ergonomic, lightweight or cleverly designed equipment and supplies that reduce employee injury/fatigue – from mop buckets to dining chairs


2013 gallery_medium

The NAFEM Show 2013

Consumer-first innovations
As consumer tastes become ever more demanding, specialty equipment is in high demand. Equipment and supplies manufacturers are answering the call with:

  • Products that make it easier and more efficient to accommodate consumers with dietary restrictions, including tools for allergy-friendly food prep and equipment that defies the challenges of gluten-free cooking
  • Elevated smallwares and servingware that up the aesthetic for a trendier customer base
  • Beverage dispensers and barware that enable specialty beverage trends – from artisan water to mixed cocktails
  • Contemporary décor and open-kitchen-ready equipment

Eco (and budget) friendly options
As in previous show years, equipment and supplies that save energy and appeal to socially responsible consumers are a big hit. Ongoing trends on display include:

  • Equipment in every category that provides major energy savings
  • Holding equipment that can maintain temperatures for longer periods of time with lower energy use – or no utility hookup at all
  • Ventilation systems that filter and recycle air and heat
  • Green servingware options
  • Water-saving technologies – seen in everything from warewashing equipment to dipper wells

New this year to the WHAT’S HOT! WHAT’S COOL!® product gallery is our Inspiration Station – a series of four discussions designed to generate conversation around the latest equipment and supplies trends. The series was led by Mike Colburn and Mary Esther Treat, founders of product design firm Ideas Well Done. As independent experts, Mike and Mary Esther weighed in on some of the products that were on display in the gallery – and encouraged questions and comments from the audience.



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